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Fertil Steril. 2002 Oct;78(4):727-32.

Peritoneal fluid-mediated enhancement of eutopic and ectopic endometrial cell proliferation is dependent on tumor necrosis factor-alpha in women with endometriosis.

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  • 1Institute for the Study and Treatment of Endometriosis and Rush Medical College, Chicago, Illinois, USA.



To determine the effect of autologous peritoneal fluid and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) on proliferation of endometrial cells from women with endometriosis.


Endometrial cells from eutopic and ectopic endometrium were cultured in vitro with peritoneal fluids or recombinant TNF-alpha for 72 hours before DNa synthesis determination by 3H-thymidine labeling and liquid scintillation counting.


An institute for the study and treatment of endometriosis and university-based research laboratories.


Thirty-five women with endometriosis and 17 controls without endometriosis.


In vitro incorporation of 3H-thymidine in endometrial cells was examined.


Peritoneal fluid from women with endometriosis enhanced proliferation of autologous and heterologous endometrial cell cultures from women with endometriosis. The soluble TNF-receptor etanercept blocked the ability of peritoneal fluid from women with endometriosis to enhance proliferation of eutopic or ectopic endometrial cells. Recombinant TNF-alpha also enhanced proliferation of eutopic and ectopic endometrial cells from women with endometriosis. In contrast, autologous peritoneal fluid, heterologous peritoneal fluid from women with endometriosis, and recombinant TNF-alpha failed to enhance, and often inhibited, the proliferation of eutopic endometrial cells from controls without endometriosis.


Endometrial cells from women with endometriosis can utilize factors in peritoneal fluids, such as TNF-alpha, to facilitate proliferation in ectopic environments. Endometrial cells from women without endometriosis do not share this ability, suggesting that this abnormality is etiologically related to development of the disease. Therapy with agents that block the effects of TNF-alpha may be warranted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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